SCI members firmly believe that hunting IS conservation. But beyond the fact that the American tradition of hunting is an ever more important part of successful wildlife management, we support many wildlife individual conservation projects each and every year. From the many Texas Chapters who have teamed up with the Texas Bighorn Society and Texas Parks and Wildlife locally, to projects in Alaska and Africa, SCI is at the forefront. Bighorn sheep, African lions, Asian sheep, Alaskan bison and Marco Polo sheep are just a few species that have benefitted from programs supported by SCI.
Stay tuned for the next SCI conservation success story!
Many of us know that the future of our sport, indeed the future of Wildlife lies in the hands of the next generation. Not wanting to leave this to chance, the Alamo Chapter has established a Youth Hunting and Education Program. Working with the Shirley Ranch near Johnson City, TX the Chapter has expanded upon a system which incorporates youth hunting and education into their Wildlife management plan.
The goal is to keep the Whitetail Deer herds Buck to Doe ratio in line with pre-determined objectives as well as to ensure the herds overall numbers stay within the range of what the environment can sustain.
Through the gracious support of another Chapter member, this year the Chapter was able to expand the program to include the Agape Ranch near Uvalde, TX.
At each location, not only did the kids (ages 7-15) and their parents get a chance to get venture into the great outdoors; they learned why we need a scientific based management plan. Learning to age deer hunters where able to identify the older does as well as bucks that do not show the proper genetic traits the management plan calls for. To assist the hunters with determining these traits, the Chapter presented each youth with a pair of binoculars to use for the hunt and to keep for future adventures.
After checking their rifles zero and learning the importance of proper shot placement the young hunters where ready for the field. The next morning found the youths watching the morning sun slowly rising over the horizon providing for yet another glorious day. Watching and waiting for the legal hunting time to arrive, the kids scanned the area with their new binoculars hoping to spot a management deer. As they watched many other animals where spotted by the various youths. Bobcats, Racoons, Axis and Fallow deer, Turkey, Ducks, Hawks and a host of various songbirds greeted the hunter’s eyes time and time again.
Mid-Morning saw everyone back at the lodge for a hearty breakfast. Animals harvested were cleaned and the meat hung in the cooler for the youths to take home to their families. Following some mid-day activities which included a football game at the Shirley Ranch as well as a Dart Throwing Match at the Agape Ranch the hunters were off again for their evenings adventure. With constant re-enforcement from parents and guides many were very successful, and all learned that “Success is not always measured by the pulling of the trigger.”
With a total of 23 youths going through the program, many new friends where made and Youths and Parents alike left with a better understanding to how hunting is an important tool in a proper management plan. The Chapter will continue to work on our success and with the support of our members and sponsors expand our goal of educating the next generation of hunters who will ensure our sport and wildlife continue to thrive.
Many Thanks to the Shirley Ranch and the Agape Ranch as well as all the volunteers who made this project such a resounding success.
Colt’s management buck at the Shirley Ranch. Colt was our youngest hunter.
New Binoculars for all the young hunters. Thanks Alamo Chapter!
Checking the rifles zero and a few shooting tips at the Agape Ranch.
Hunting is our heritage. Many of us learned the art of our trade from our fathers (or mothers) and they from theirs. Generation after generation have learned, grown and found enjoyment from the challenges and frustrations of pitting our skills against those of our quarry. But what about the future? Will our children, our grandchildren or even our great grandchildren be able to carry on the tradition of our sport?
Poaching and Anti-hunting campaigns are two major concerns that impact the future of hunting and our outdoor adventures. We should all step up and help educate those who do not understand what science-based wildlife management is all about. Teach them how as humans we have all made impacts on wildlife habitat. How everything we touch and use comes from land that once was wildlife habitat. That without science-based management, there will be no wildlife for future generations to enjoy.
But what about poaching? Poachers are in it for the money. They do not care about the wildlife they kill or the future of its existence. They destroy habitat and kill without any concern for any type of management. Young, old, male, female; if there’s money in it, the slaughter begins.
With our deep passion for our sport and its future, the Alamo Chapter of SCI has decided to take a stand and do something to help. Raising funds and gathering together some equipment; the Alamo Chapter linked up with the GAJOGO Foundation. A non-profit organization that runs anti-poaching teams in Coutada 9, Mozambique, Africa.
Gary Goltz of the foundation said “We are making a difference. Every day we recover poachers’ traps and tools or apprehend poachers in the act of their illegal trade; is another day, another chance for the wildlife of Mozambique”.
But it takes resources, the Outfitters do the best they can covering many of the anti-poaching costs. Assistance from outside organizations like the Alamo Chapter go a long way in the fight to save wildlife for future generations to enjoy. Although we have won another battle in the campaign against poaching, we have a long way to go to win the war. Every effort helps, no matter how big or how small.
SCI and the Alamo Chapter will continue to be a driving force in the fight to save the amazing creatures that have been put on this earth. To pass along our heritage, to ensure the survival of the wildlife that shares this planet with us, this is our passion. Our goal: to ensure future generations who wish to be part of the great outdoors, have that opportunity, have that right. So, they in turn can pass the heritage on.